The great fried donut project. I have been wanting to do this for years. Sometime over the weekend while searching for a(other) zucchini recipe, I came across a zucchini cake donut. I was ready to tackle frying at home. I was going to be brave. So I read and researched a bit more on the great subject of donuts. Cake, raised, fried, baked, filled, glazed, sugared, or plain? I knew the answer to which one I would make. Spoiler alert: not the zucchini cake donut (yet, anyhow). I have been on the quest to find a good honey dipped (or honey glazed) donut for years. The answer was tucked away on page 97 of my grandmother (and her two sisters’) cookbook. I tied my red striped apron on and got to work.
The dough I used was a sweet dough recipe. It was versatile dough that may also be used for donuts and cinnamon rolls. I used the recipe and followed it, as written, except I added a fresh spice. The recipe given is simply for the dough itself. The first thing I had to do was figure out what to do after the glorious dough is made. I did general research about: what temperature to fry these donuts, how many rises does the dough need, what oil to use, etc.
I decided to make the dough and put it in the fridge to slowly rise overnight. It was a risk..but I was happy I took that risk.
The next day, I pulled the dough out to take the chill off. I rolled and cut many donuts.
The sizes of the donuts varied. The dough wasn’t quite warm enough and bounced back a bit. Meanwhile, I was chomping at the bit to get these donuts in my belly! I ended with roughly a dozen good sized donuts, 4 mini donuts and 6 jelly donuts.
After rolling and cutting, these donuts need to rest and rise again. I was closely monitoring the oil heating up. 360* was where I wanted to be. Maintaining this temperature proves to be a little tricky on an electric stove. I also had the glaze mixed and ready for dipping. The assembly line was set – dough, a hot pot of oil, paper towel lined pan, a pot of glaze, and a rack for drying.
I was dropping, frying, flipping, and turning donuts out with one hand. With the other hand, I was dunking the donuts while they were still warm, letting the glaze roll off and then turning them onto a baking rack to drip dry. I have to say, it was thrilling. I used to stand at the counter with my grandmother and help glaze these donuts as a little kid. Now that I have my own child, I am most certain that I slowed down this whole process! But as an adult? This was so invigorating! I was multitasking and conquering my fear of frying, like a boss!
I was desperately hoping that I gained the donut making gene from the generations before me. As I was working in my kitchen, I would often channel my grandmother and mother in this adventure. I knew my Mom was on standby. She was ready to answer any ‘HELP ME’ texts that might come through. Alas, I did not text in a panic. I simply texted her a picture of the raspberry filled jelly donut.
The jelly donut was a last minute decision. Actually, the truth is my piping bag and jelly were not ready, nor was my sugar to coat them in. However, I found what I needed rather quickly (thanks to my purging and reorganizing the kitchen a few weeks ago). And drying glazes on the various donut sizes…
My goal with this honey glazed donut was simple. I wanted a flaky, crackly glaze that gives way to a crunchy exterior donut with a soft and chewy interior. The dough is slightly sweet (with a little kiss of spice) and the glaze is thickened just right.
This project gives me ideas, hopes and dreams. Mostly, it gives me the courage needed to tackle more donut projects. Somehow it feels as though a new baking universe is opening up. This is very exciting!!!
I am going to play around with this dough and glaze recipe slightly. When I have finalized my tweaks I will happily share away! Until then…please, come over for some donuts and coffee? Thank you for reading, friends!!!